[Beowulf] PVM or ???

mechti01 mechti01 at luther.edu
Sun Aug 29 21:19:54 PDT 2004

Hi Anand,

Thank you very much for reading my message and taking the time to reply. 
Your help has aroused some thought as to what I really want to do with the
cluster and also provided some valuable insight on different ways to
implemented.  Initially the cluster will mainly be used in the physics
department for running calculations and simulations, but the usage will
hopefully be expanded into the Biology and Computer Science departments as
well at a later time.

I have taken a closer look at Rocks Linux and even tried to install in on
a subset of the cluster systems.  Problems caused by unsupported
videocards prompted me to continue looking for other cluster
distributions, however.  I plan to try Mandrakesoft's CLIC 2.0 next.  I've
also downloaded ClusterMatic 4 and might give that a try as well.  Would
you, or anyone else who might be reading this, have any experience with
either or both of these systems?

Thanks again for your help.


-Timo Mechler

> Timo,
> what is the area where you will be using this cluster for is it only for
> practice and programming  and trying different ways where you could use
> a cluster. If it is the latter then i would suggest installing PVM and
> MPI both on that cluster and if you go ahead with rocks linux
> distribution that is optimized for cluster you would get both of them
> preconfigured. More over you should try some kind of DRM (Distributed
> Resource Management System) too i.e. either Sun Grid Engine or PBS.
> I dont know the dist sizes on your machines but it would be fun and nice
> to configure PVFS (Parallel Virtual File System) on your cluster that
> will be advantageous in multiple ways for one it will give you a good
> experience and second you could always use some good global space for
> your cluster.
> There are many things you could do with your cluster most probably you
> will get more replies to your mail.
> Thanks
> Anand S Bisen
> Timo Mechler wrote:
>>Hi all,
>>I'm in the process of building my first ever beowulf cluster and have
>> come
>>here to ask for some advice pertaining to what parallel computing system
>> I
>>should go with.  With the intention of keeping this email as short and
>>conscise as possible, perhaps the best way to start out is to list what
>>I'm going to be using on the hardware side of things:
>>Number of machines:  15 (expected to grow to 24 and possibly larger)
>>CPU Speed:  Anything from a dual Pentium 3 550mhz system to Pentium 2
>>233mhz systems
>>RAM:  Anywhere from 256mb to 64mb
>>Network:  100mbit CAT5
>>OS:  Slackware 9.1 Linux
>>Switch:  D-Link 24 port 10/100mbit
>>As you can see their is some diversity present in my hardware setup.
>>Given that fact, my initial intentions where to go with PVM.  I have
>>successfully setup PVM on a subset of these machines in the past and it
>>has worked out great.  However, do you guys think PVM would be the best
>>solution for this setup, or could I also with MPI or some variant of it?
>>I'm using all x86 systems so I thought this might be possible.  Are there
>>still a lot of people out there that use PVM?  That was another one of my
>>concerns that led my thinking towards MPI.  How about programming
>>difficulty?  I've never done any parallel programming for PVM or MPI.
>>Finally, once again looking at my setup above, does anyone else have any
>>suggestions for improvement in terms of operating system or hardware?
>>Thanks in advance for your help.  The knowledge I've gained so far from
>>this mailing list has been priceless.  Thank you!
>>-Timo Mechler


More information about the Beowulf mailing list